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Let’s Talk About Cowboy Bebop

About a month ago we received some pretty devastating news. Netflix decided that it was going to cancel Cowboy Bebop, only three weeks after the series premiered. There was no reason given and fans were left on a pretty ridiculous cliffhanger, so of course, people weren’t too happy with the decision. Since then, there have been petitions circulating to get them to renew it, but it seems like it’s too little too late. For me, I’m pretty bummed out they canceled the show. While I had my issues with it, I was hoping that it was just growing pains on everyone’s part. I imagined that the second season would do a better job of getting the characters right. Oh well. *SPOILERS AHEAD*

Cowboy Bebop

Image courtesy of Netflix

What did they do well?

Overall, I didn’t hate the show. I was having an absolute blast with it until the last two episodes. After that, I just felt almost empty, betrayed even. But that’s for later. Right now I’m going to talk about what I loved about the show. First off, I absolutely love John Cho as Spike. He’s just perfect. His timing, the delivery of the lines, it’s all spot on to how I imagined a live-action version of the character would be. It was the perfect casting and I was really happy watching him be his Spike-self. Second, Mustafa Shakir was the perfect Jet. Like, perfect. Nothing about his character was wrong and I loved him throughout the entire show. He was gruff, but had a heart of gold and let nothing compromise what mattered most to him, his family.

Those two together were like fireworks. Every scene they shared was perfect, witty, and hilarious. I wanted more of them and I’m sad we were robbed of more of their buddy cop shenanigans. Of course, there might have been a few episodes until we saw those shenanigans again, given the way they left their relationship, but they definitely would have come back. Oh, and let’s not forget about the amazing and perfect Ein. I loved him so much and I wanted way more of him than we got.

More good things.

I also loved the way the entire show felt. They captured the feeling of the anime very well and made it so you could imagine it as a cartoon. The CG was fun and campy in the exact right way. The side characters and villains were goofy, but not overly ridiculous. All of the villains they showcased were spot on to the anime and they all felt convincing, regardless of how ridiculous their plot was. Spike and Jet’s bounty hunting adventures were exactly what I wanted from the show and I really wish they had decided to focus on that more instead of some of the other aspects of the show.

The last thing I enjoyed was Julia’s big twist. I was really disappointed with how they were handling her character up until the moment they decided to flip the script with her and Vicious. That was very well done and I enjoyed that route much more than having them just off her like they do in the anime. Also, I loved the twist of Ed at the end. I wish there was more of them in the show and I’m frustrated we’ll never see their character flourish.

Cowboy Bebop

Image courtesy of Netflix

Now for the bad.

So, I really didn’t like Faye in this Cowboy Bebop. Something about her just didn’t sit too well. As the show progressed she got better and I liked her more, but she just wasn’t the right type of “Faye” in this adaptation. I think when stepping back and forgetting about the anime, she’s a great character, but for something that so heavily relies on its source material the way they portray her is weird. I understand she’s just looking for a family, but she is too quick to trust Spike and Jet and that makes her story not that believable.

Sure, she steals The Swordfish and Ein, but she just ends up being so aloof about it and forgets about her quest. I guess Faye in the anime just feels a lot more ruthless and closed off, especially that early on in her relationship with the boys. I know why they went the way they did, but still. Not a fan. Also, everything about the church scene with Faye being the hero felt off. It was a pretty significant moment and they really just made it feel so comedic. I hated that.

More bad things.

Vicious. Pretty much everything about him in this sucks. I don’t want him to have feelings or to have a tragic backstory with his dad. I don’t want him to be portrayed in any other way than evil, which is what he is. Yeah, he has feelings in the anime but there’s always an ulterior motive with him, even with Julia. A lot of his character in this adaptation was being explained away by his past. You’re supposed to hate him and not feel bad for him. I don’t particularly care for the way they handled him.

I also really don’t like how they handled Spike in the last few episodes. He never put Vicious that high on a pedestal because he knew how evil he was. Spike tried to save Julia from Vicious and never wanted to save Vicious from himself. Arguably, Spike would have put Jet and Faye’s safety over Vicious’ any day. He plays recklessly for Vicious’ sake near the end of the season and it just feels so weird.

All of this aside

All of these gripes aside, I really wanted Cowboy Bebop to get a second season. I think there was so much setup for the second season to do well that a lot of people would have been happy with it. Sure, I had issues with some choices, but it was absolutely intentional and I think they had the right direction in mind. I guess a lot of people complained about it enough that Netflix decided it wasn’t worth it. I really think they had a formula for greatness with this show, but I guess we’ll never know. It almost feels like they “Firefly’d” us. Maybe this means we’ll get a movie out of it?

What did you think of Cowboy Bebop? Let us know in the comments below!

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